At its MicroStrategy World 2012 European user conference in Amsterdam, MicroStrategy today released MicroStrategy 9.3, the latest version of its core business intelligence platform. Other announcements included the release of MicroStrategy Wisdom Professional, an analytical application that can explore the full spectrum of personal data contained in Facebook about consumers, including their demographics, interests, activities, and preferences, and MicroStrategy Cloud Express, a SaaS-based BI solution that enables users to automate publication of personalized, pixel-perfect reports and dashboards to any size group, up to hundreds of thousands of recipients.
MicroStrategy 9.3 contains new capabilities that enhance MicroStrategy Visual Insight for data exploration and dashboard creation, allow businesses to gain insights from big data, and incorporate advanced analytics from R, the open-source programming language for statistical computing. MicroStrategy 9.3 includes many new features in MicroStrategy Visual Insight, including new data visualizations, density maps, image layouts, network diagrams, improved usability, auto-suggested best fit data visualizations, quick searching, enhanced interactivity, expanded analytics, instant metrics, guided metric creation, powerful filtering, enhanced thresholds, and access to data across the enterprise. Users can build and share dashboards in minutes via the Web or tablet.
MicroStrategy 9.3 also provides direct access to on-premises Hadoop distributions such as Apache, Cloudera, and Hortonworks, as well as Hadoop distributions that are hosted in the cloud like Amazon EMR. It also contains the new MicroStrategy System Manager, which automates the many manual, multi-step processes required to manage a BI ecosystem.
MicroStrategy Wisdom Professional provides businesses with unique intelligence on the demographics, interests, and social graph of more than 12 million anonymous, opted-in Facebook users. It also integrates third-party data sources, such as U.S. Census data, to derive income estimates and to backfill missing data points. The application includes an "affluence score" that indicates the wealth of any given population segment; an "influence score" that ranks a person's social networking influence; and a "popularity score" that rates a person's social networking popularity.
"MicroStrategy Wisdom Professional is an innovative customer analytics application that provides businesses with a broad spectrum of Facebook profile information, based on our growing Wisdom Network that currently consists of more than 12 million Facebook users," said Sanju Bansal, MicroStrategy's chief operating officer, in a statement. "Whether you work in marketing, research, product development, or sales, MicroStrategy Wisdom Professional empowers businesses to learn about their Facebook consumers so that they can provide more personalized products and services, engage with new customers, and gain a competitive advantage."
The addition of MicroStrategy Cloud Express adds a new service level to the MicroStrategy Cloud, which first became available in 2011 with Personal and Platform service options. MicroStrategy Cloud now includes three distinct services:
- Personal. With free Personal service, anyone can create a free account, upload their data, and then analyze it using rich interactive visualizations with just a few clicks. Users can then quickly share insights with colleagues or friends in a matter of minutes.
- Platform. Platform service is based on a tightly integrated, highly optimized infrastructure that combines the latest MicroStrategy business intelligence software, plus its analytical database as well as data integration hardware and software from best-of-breed partners. A one-stop-shop for enterprise BI needs, the full MicroStrategy Cloud Platform is available as a managed service to companies that need the full power of enterprise business intelligence or want to quickly build and deliver enterprise mobile apps or harness the potential of big data analytics.
- Express. MicroStrategy's new Express service extends the Personal experience to enable subscribers to automatically build, schedule, and deliver customized analytics and other content to any number of recipients based on their organizational role or privileges. MicroStrategy Cloud Express will be released as a subscription-based service. Subscribers only pay for the services they consume each month. Subscribers will also be able to transition to full Platform services if they require additional functionality not included in Express.
"MicroStrategy strikes the perfect balance between ease of use and functionality with Cloud Express. Having never used a BI product, we were able to create a robust system within days of our launch," said Vincent Cipriani, senior business analyst at Alarm.com, a beta customer of the new service. "In particular, the Express Delivery personalization feature is fantastic. It allows us to build one report, and then distribute it to our entire sales force in a way that each individual user only sees data for their personal accounts. In the past, we had to create a separate Excel-based report for each individual sales representative, so that's a huge time saver."